Gems in Harajuku // fashion and food

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Greetings from Harajuku! We are finally settled into our little home for Christmas and New Year, and so far we are loving it. The flat itself is lovely and its in THE BEST location ever - it's a bit like the Chelsea of Tokyo (if you're familiar with London). We really have fallen on our feet, as the price was so reasonable as well (around £25 each a night)! We are situated in the beautiful Omote-sando - about a 10 minute walk away from the centre of Harajuku. Omote-sando is so pretty, with tones of temptations round every corner - from quirky little coffee shops to idyllic florists, blooming with Christmas - plus down EVERY street has an amazing looking hair salon (I think I may have to give in to a Christmas blow-dry). Anyway I wanted to write this post about a few little gems we have come across so far during our stay - some of which we have already paid a visit - others have been put on our HUGE, ever-growing to do list.

Number one is Commune 246. Craig found this place whilst searching online for good veggie places to eat - and I'm so glad he found it! So close to our flat it's been hard to resist going every single night (in fact we have been every night so far, oops). The only way to describe this place is like a magical festival food court. Tucked away off a residential street in Minami-Aoyoma you could literally walk straight past it! After spotting the little sign in a fairy lit tree we headed down a short path way that led us to all the different street food vendors. With tones of choice, there really is something for everyone (without sounding too cliche). Fragrant Indian curry, spicy pad Thai, giant Hawaiian prawn salads, vegan nuggets, giant German sausages (accompanied by different varieties of beer), a place to have a hot cup of coffee with a brownie and to top it all off a huge warm indoor seating area, which is just like a green house, giving you the impression of still being outside. I felt like I was in an enchanted secret food garden. Not only is the design of this place amazing, and well thought out, but the food was also delicious and extremely reasonable. We opted for a shrimp pad Thai, which had a lovely warm chilli heat, fragrant hints of lemongrass and basil, along with crispy little shrimps and egg running through it. It came with a crunchy fresh salad, deep fried prawns and little prawn crackers. Including a bottle of Singa beer the entire meal only came 1500 yen (about £12) each - bargain. It was so good we went back yesterday and tried the Indian, which was also amazing! You sit in a tiny little room and watch the guy make your curry, whilst inhaling the best smells ever! We both enjoyed vegetable curries with rice, pickles and cashew nuts, along with some orange infused water - all for 900 yen. I highly recommend! Plus if you're cautious about eating local and trying to find little independents, like me, then this place is for you.

Number two is for the vintage fashion lovers! So we stumbled upon 'We Go' an unbelievably good vintage clothes shop in Harajuku. As people know London has a fab vintage clothes scene, with places like Camden and Brick Lane being some of the best places in the world to shop vintage - however We Go has defiantly put Tokyo on the map and I would even go as far to say it's one of the best vintage shops I have EVER been in. The decor is incredible, with the shop floor curated in different little time capsules - my fav being the bit that looked a little bit like my bedroom when I was about 8 (see pictures). Unlike some vintage shops I found We Go extremely reasonable compared to some, which can be very overpriced - for example I found a good as new Tommy sweater for around £18! Home to loads of great second hand designer pieces, this aladins cave really should not be missed if like me, you love nostalgic clothing that's sassy and sustainable.

Number three is a chain but still a gem none the less - a little apple pie cafe called Granny Smith. After a long day hunting down Christmas decorations for the flat and getting blown to bits by a very strong, icy wind, myself and Craig opted for a sit down and a slice of hot apple pie to really get ourselves in the festive spirit before going home later to decorate our tree. Cosy, Christmassy and cute are the three adjectives I would use to describe Granny Smith's. If you enjoy traditional settings and apple pie, this place is for you. Not really cheap, but not breaking the bank this place is a really nice treat on a freezing cold winters day. Craig went for a seasonal hot orange and cream drink and a slice of the England Custard apple pie with ice-cream, whilst I played it safe with a pot of earl grey
and a slice of French D'mandes (can confirm both scrummy).

That's it for now however places still on my to do list include:
The Tea House (an adorable flower market come fashionable brunch spot - think peonies + cakes).
Pass The Batton (another hand me down vintage boutique - pieces often donated by local celebs).
Flamingo Cafe (a cute little Italian adorned in fairy lights)
Apéro (a funky wine bar)
Curry up (a curry house named by Pharrel Williams)
... I could literally go on! So many amazing places I want to check out. I will leave the links down below of all three of the places we have been to so far. Look out for my next post which is gonna be a Christmassy one (you've been warned)

Elly x

Commune 246
We Go
Granny Smith

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